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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Icom ID-1 Help

Reviews Summary for Icom ID-1
Icom ID-1 Reviews: 6 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $1600
Description: 1.2 GHz Digital and Analog Transceiver (part of the "D-Star System")
Product is in production.
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VE6ND Rating: 4/5 Feb 21, 2017 16:45 Send this review to a friend
Very nice radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I see the last review was 2010...:/I'm giving it a 4 because I have not used the radios complete capability however it does what it says. Having picked this up from a local ham that didn't use it much I believe I now have about 6 hours of talk time on the set. The manual is okay, I used it rather than the software to program the unit and it took a bit of going from pg. 22 to 55 etc. but it worked out and I have two of the DV repeaters programmed in and some simplex channels.
We'll see how this works out and perhaps a second one for the house. I'm trying to convince my 13 year old daughter to study for the basic exam here in Calgary and get her involved in radio.
However with the Diamond 6dbd antenna on the car it works very well.

Glenn, VE6ND
W4USA Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2010 13:17 Send this review to a friend
Impressive  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was very impressed with the radio. I had 1.2 Ghz in the past and also D-star, this adds the clean operation of 1.2 and several updated D-star operations. I found many new functions on this unit. It is built very well. The DD is also very nice.
KT4NR Rating: 3/5 Jan 17, 2007 11:21 Send this review to a friend
Not Bad  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well I am writing an initial impressions review of the ID 1 after a few days. I will be updating this much later on after I really break the rig in. Currently it is mounted in my truck with the rig in the back and the speaker mounted near the ceiling of the truck in the back. The head is remotely mounted in the driver's area and the antenna is a Diamond NR124NMO monobander mounted on a magmount until I get a new NMO installed.

As a monoband UHF radio it is not bad. It sounds nice on transmit (I have talked to other who have them) and on receive. The ability to remote mount is nice and the remote head is a pretty good size to use. Overall it is a decent radio.

I use the radio on 1.2 GHz FM simplex, repeaters and DStar DV simplex currently. I will soon begin playing with the DD function (the reason I got the rig) and repeaters and gateways on DStar once they are installed. It sounds very similar to the ID800 I reviewed elsewhere on DV. The microphone is a bit oddly over sized and I am not sure why to be honest. Seems almost like they had a bunch of old CB mics lying around. Not a complaint but the mic did not seem to got with the aesthetics of the rig.

I think the instruction booklet, for its faults, is a world ahead of the one for the ID800. While not perfect it is a bit more readable, though typos and grammar are not what even secondary school kids would find acceptable in many places. Icom please note: You have a division in America that is paid to do stuff for you. Please let them edit your English language manuals!

The downsides I have found thus far are not deal breakers but I found them disconcerting. Why is there no mobile mount? It's a mobile radio and even if you use it as a base you need to put it on something to get airflow over the entirety of the unit. I would think that for a radio as pricey as this they could have thrown in the mounting bracket instead of having it as an option.

The software is neat. I think they have a great idea going for those digital guys out there who never use the head of the radio or mic. I first saw the ID1 demonstrated this way and to have a virtual head for the radio is a good idea in this application. Just fix the software bugs. For example I could not program 1253.500 MHz into memory as it defaulted to 1260 MHz. Checking the specs the radio is ok down below 1260MHz but the software would have none of it. Only after I got the ID1 hooked up and set the ID1 to the 1253.5 frequency I wanted would it let me save and manipulate the memory I required.

The ID800 software is a huge improvement in many ways over the ID 1 software. Specifically the fields where you edit MYCALL (or multiple versions of MYCALL) for DV, and in how you can interact with the programming software while off line. The ID 1 has to be on line for many of the functions of the programming to take effect. This is a big deal as my installation is mobile. I have found trying to play around with the software while standing in near freezing weather outside the back of truck a bit annoying. I'd rather sit in my warm house and learn the platform a bit before plugging it into the rig.

I find the software not very intuitive. (My measure is the obvious how long must I fiddle with it before breaking out the book or finding another ham who already has one and can help me out.)There just did not seem to be functions where I thought there'd be functions. Going back to MYCALL why can I not view the default rig settings for MYCALL and the STATUS message unless I am hooked to the rig and then really search for those functions in the manual?

Icom did think of one good thing I failed to realize, the extension USB cable has a male and female USB connector on it. I think, however, maybe the rig should have had the female receptical and then I can run to any computer store and buy however long a piece of USB extension cable I need for remote work. Not a complaint so much as a slight improvement. The supplied cable serves its purpose for now. Also why is it USB 1.0 and not 2.0 or whatever the latest version is?

I appreciated that Icom put the drivers and operating software on one disk instead of 2 for the ID800. More importantly it came with the rig rather than buying it separately. This is a definite plus.

I very much look forward to playing with the DD features and exploring just what potential it has. Once I do that I will write more. I think, if I am to upgrade this to a 4 it will be after that based on how well I can figure it out and what I can do with it. I know what has been done by others (I have seen some pretty awesome applications already) but there are a few things I want to explore first, before commenting on DD.

The ID1 is a platform from which we hams will build. I can see many worlds of growth coming from this line of technology. The best piece of advice I can give is this:

1) The tinkering on this rig is for the software developers amongst us. Look for the new applications as the price of the technology falls. Just have the applications set up for those of us without computer science degrees thanks!

2) Just because 1.2 GHz is quiet don't give up on the band. I got this rig used and discounted because the previous owner felt the band was useless after 3 days! His loss, my gain. I already have a few people to talk to and will be jumping on at least 2 new repeaters in the coming months.

I got into DStar because nothing else exciting is going on for FM communications. This is exciting and new and definitely something I am going to enjoy exploring.

KC0ARF Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2004 12:51 Send this review to a friend
Effective Data Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Up in Green Bay, we have used two D-Star units to test out the data connectivity for fixed points. Details of our tests may be found at

In summary, we have two units about a mile apart, and we tested them for brute force data transfers, and determined an average rate of 90 Kbs per second, or about 1.5 times the speed of dial up connections. We downloaded a DVD worth of data over the course of a weekend... well over 24 hours of continual transmit / receive time. We also tested for network usefulness: we were able to support Novell Netware logins, Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Macintosh.

Think of the D-Stars as a "wire" between the two networks. Yes, you need to do a little bit of setup to establish the frequency and ID, but aside from that, the radios behave just fine.

The D-Stars also come with a heat-sensitive fan that turns on when needed. On Low power, during the brute force test, my fan would come on for maybe a few minutes every 15 - 20 minutes or so in a room temperature environment.

All in all, the radios worked really well -- a pleasent surprise. While I am not sure if they will support a remote audio stream, such as an IRLP node on a repeater, they will support web browsing, checking email, and a number of other internet applications.

Christian Reynolds KC0ARF
N5ZPR Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2004 19:32 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have the other ID-1 mentioned by N5MIJ. I have a few additional comments. The USB interface can also be use to operate the radio, the control head is not required. The software that comes with the radio, gives you all to the functionality of the control head and will show a list of the stations that active on channel. I have a computer installed in my vehicle although that is not required; it does make it convenient to work with the radio.

An application note; On the Dayton trip we created a network link between my vehicle and MIJís vehicle. The ID-1s were each connected top a hub in each vehicle. We were able to maintain a solid connection over several miles. The other vehicles on the group were using 802.11 and could not get very far apart without losing the signal.

I have to agree with MIJ, the radios are great and have been fun to work with.
N5MIJ Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2004 16:46 Send this review to a friend
Great Flexible Rig!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had a 1292.6 MHz repeater up for over 10 years now. I've been through dedicated 1.2 mobiles, HT's, and multi-band units, including both the IC-901 and the Kenwood TM-742. The Icom ID-1 is one of the most exciting units to come along yet.

The ID-1 is a multi-purpose radio 1.2 GHz mobile radio, and takes a little effort to really utilize. It can talk to existing analog 1.2 GHz radios, including repeaters. It can talk to a digital voice repeater as part of the D-Star system. It can function as a high-speed (128K) ethernet bridge. And it does all this while hiding discretely under the seat or in the trunk.

There is a remotely-mounted control head, attached via a standard CAT5 cable. Other connections to the radio are power, an N-connector for the antenna, and a couple of unusual additions: a USB port and an Ethernet cable. The USB port allows use of a PC for programming, which can altenatively be performed directly from the control head. The Ethernet connection allows the ID-1 to function as a modem, bridging any local network to the network on the other end of the link (whether that's a D-Star repeater, or another ID-1).

In analog voice mode, the ID-1 behaves exactly like any other 1.2 analog mobile, with the expected programmable parameters like offset, PL, etc. Performance in this mode is comparable to other radios of similar power.

In digital voice mode, the ID-1 has surprisingly good voice quality for a purely digital radio, although it is still obviously digital. There is definitely a digitization delay, and voices are obviously recognizable, though not as clear as analog modes. One of the really neat features in this mode is that the ID-1 sends your ID, embedded in the data for every transmission. This callsign is displayed on the control heads of all receiving stations. No more forgetting to ID! Performance on this mode is roughly comparable to the analog systems.

In digital data mode, the radio just works. It's pretty interesting to be able to sit in the front seat of your vehicle, and work on your PC with access to email, Web, etc. All of this, by the way, is directly dependent on what's on the other end of the Ethernet link, their connectivity to the outside world, and how much bandwidth they're willing for you to use. Performance on this mode is good, but we see somewhat reduced range, which is expected with the wider bandwidth used for high-speed data.

There is also a mixed digital mode, that allows simultaneous voice and low-speed data transmission. We've not explored this one extensively yet. But it's absolutely ripe with potential for APRS, coordinated RDF, etc. Just think about the possiblity of sharing data in real time with several friends or teammates, and go from there. This mode also offers some interesting capabilities in emergency-response situations.

We've had two mobile units with which to work since early December of '03. During that time, we've learned an enormous amount about the new rigs. They absolutely require a good antenna. The old "just bend up a 1/4-wave" option just doesn't work very well. We were able to locate some relatively short (8") gain antennas, manufactured by Procomm, that worked very well, and still allow our truck & van into the garage. As with all 1.2 GHz installations, use of quality low-loss feedline is critical!

The ID-1 appears to be the first available radio in the new family of D-Star compliant radios. D-Star is an open standard, and I hope to see other options available. At first glance, the price of the mobile appears to be high. The pain of the sticker shock is significantly lessened when you begin to discover all that the radio will do. Hopefully, we'll see enough interest and demand that the price can be dropped accordingly.

My expectation is that Icom's D-Star offerings will begin to redefine how we perceive both mobile and fixed-station capabilities. As we develop ways to use the new capabilities, we'll open all sorts of new opportunities.

Summary - The ID-1 is a very interesting radio. Installation is typical of any mobile operating at this frequency. Operation requires a bit of study, but is quickly learned. The new features are an absolute blast, and I'm sure we'll dream up some interesting new uses, too. Overall, it's a good one.


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